Michigan Amtrak Route Gets $9.3M Tiger Grant

A $9.3 million grant to make improvements to the Amtrak route between Kalamazoo and Dearborn, Mich., is the only rail-related project in the Great Lakes region that received Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grants announced this week.

The projects ranged from track work in New England to a new bridge in Washington.

In making the announcement about the grants, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx said he hoped that awarding $474 million in funds for the 52 projects would encourage Congress to pass a transportation bill.

The TIGER grant program was created in a 2009 economic stimulus bill. States are awarded grants for transportation projects that “will have a significant impact on the nation, a metropolitan area or a region.”

The Michigan project will involve upgrading two main tracks between Kalamazoo and Battle Creek to support train speeds to 110 miles per hour. A second main track capable of supporting speeds up to 110 mph will also be constructed.

The project involves replacing 26,100 ties, installing five split-point derails, and the putting in 8,108 feet of concrete crossing panels at grade crossings.

Upon completion, Amtrak trains using the route, which includes the Wolverine Service and the Blue Water, are expected to operate 10 mph faster, which will result in eight minutes of times savings per trip.

The Kalamazoo-Dearborn route is a designated high speed rail corridor.

Other rail related projects that received TIGER funds include:

  •  Construction of a second platform at the New Haven, Conn., station to help expand Amtrak service between Springfield, Mass., and New Haven ($10 million).
  • Enhancements at the Port of Baltimore ($10 million).
  • Rebuilding 6 miles of track near West Trenton, Pa., so SEPTA commuter trains and CSX freight trains do not have to travel on the same corridor ($10 million).
  • Rebuilding of 9 miles of track on the Vermont Rail System to FRA Class III standards ($8.9 million).
  • Improvements to intermodal facilities in Miami to increase freight and future passenger service on the Florida East Coast Railway ($13.7 million).
  • Realignment at the Port of Pascagoula Bayou Harbor that will eliminate 16 grade crossings through Pascagoula, Miss. ($14 million).
  • Construction of a multi-modal station to support transit, commuter and intercity rail service in Raleigh, N.C. ($10 million).
  • Restoration and improvements to Oklahoma City’s Santa Fe Depot to restore space for Amtrak ($13.5 million).
  • Commuter and freight rail enhancements in central Texas ($11.3 million).
  • Rail improvements in Springfield, Ill., for future high-speed rail service between Chicago and St. Louis ($14.4 million).
  • The construction of a streetcar line in downtown Kansas City, Mo. ($20 million).
  • Replacement of bridges on California’s Surfliner passenger route ($14 million).
  • Replacement of a wooden trestle in Tacoma, Wash. that serves Amtrak and Sounder commuter trains ($10 million).


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